SFF Book Releases – November 3, 2015

Welcome to another round of the SFF Book Releases This Week! If you are an indie or small press author and would like your book included in this list, email us at adventuresinscifipublishing [at] gmail [dot] com. If you love free books, reviews, Salvador Perez, and podcasts, sign up to our AISFP Wormhole newsletter.


Air and Darkness
by David Drake

Battling magicians, spirits, gods, and forces from supernatural realities, Corylus and his companions from the family of the nobleman Saxa-especially Saxa’s impressive wife Hedia, and his friend (and Saxa’s son) Varus-must face constant deadly and soul-destroying dangers, climaxing in a final battle not between good and evil but in defense of logic and reality.

The Ark
by Patrick S. Tomlinson

Humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation ship – the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark’s greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can’t be beat. But when a crewmember goes missing, Bryan is thrust into the centre of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence that overturns everything he knows about living on the Ark and threatens everyone aboard. As the last remnants of humanity hurtle towards their salvation, Bryan finds himself in a desperate race to unravel the conspiracy before a madman turns mankind’s home into its tomb.

Black Wolves
by Kate Elliot

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father’s fate.

Born of Betrayal
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Years ago, family loyalty caused Fain Hauk to give up everything he loved: His military career. His planet. His fiancée. Even his name.

Now decades later, everything has changed. He’s built a new life out of the ashes of his old, and he’s vowed to never let anything threaten his loved ones again.

But when old enemies align themselves with new ones, he’s caught in the middle of a brutal war. And when fate throws his former fiancée back into his world and she has her own agenda that includes taking his head for what he did to her years ago, more than just his life is at stake. The fate of the Ichidian universe and that of his brothers-in-arms hangs in the balance. Winner take all.

It’s kill or be killed, and never has the battle been more fierce…

The ninth book in the League series

Devil’s Vortex
by James Axler

Since the nukecaust, the American dream has been reduced to a daily fight for survival. In the hellish landscape of Deathlands, few dare to dream of a better tomorrow. But Ryan Cawdor and his companions press on, driven by the need for a future less treacherous than the present.

An orphaned teen with the ability to transform into a vicious whirlwind latches on to Ryan and the companions as they travel through former North Dakota. Her deadly power seems like a boon at first, until it starts to control her. When threatened, she destroys everything in her path…including those she loves. Then a group of outcast fighters kidnaps the young woman and manipulates her—and her terrifying mutation—for their own destructive agenda. With the vortex unleashed, the companions face a tough decision: chill the orphan or perish in her violent wake.

Part of the Deathlands series

Dreamseeker
by C.S. Friedman

When Jessica Drake learned that her DNA didn’t match that of her parents, she had no idea that the search for her heritage would put her family’s lives in danger, or force her to cross into another world. In an alternate Earth dominated by individuals with unnatural powers called Gifts, Jessica learned that there was a curse within her blood, one so feared that all who possessed it were destroyed on sight. For she was a Dreamwalker, and the same dark Gift that would allow her to enter the dreams of others would eventually destroy her mind and spread insanity to all those around her.

Now she is back with her family, but there is no peace to be found. Her childhood home has been destroyed, her mother’s mind is irreparably damaged, and the Gift of the Dreamwalkers is beginning to manifest in her in terrifying ways.

When a stranger invades her dreams and creatures from her nightmares threaten to cross into the waking universe, Jessica knows she must return to the alternate Earth where she was born and seek allies… even if doing so means she must bargain with those she fears the most.

The sequel to Dreamwalker

Genesis
by Paul Antony Jones

After an alien invasion devastates humanity, a battered group of survivors huddles in a remote outpost, fighting to endure in a now-hostile world. Resources are dwindling, and internal power struggles threaten to tear apart the fragile last vestige of human society.

Emily Baxter remains haunted by vivid dreams of Earth’s new masters. With these nightmares comes concern for her son, Adam, the posthuman world’s firstborn child—a child who is ominously marked with red-flecked eyes. While Emily’s husband is off on a dangerous mission, she is accused of committing an unthinkable crime and resolves to clear her name by journeying, along with her stepdaughter and their dog, Thor, into the alien wilderness that was once Earth.

All around Emily lurk mysterious new dangers that threaten her and her companions at every turn. Are these perils the final stages of an apocalyptic invasion or the harbinger of something even worse yet to come?

Book four of Extinction Point

Going Dark
by Linda Nagata

James Shelley has left his lover, Delphi, and his companion-in-arms, Jayne Vasquez, with a fortune acquired from a fallen oligarch. They believe him to be dead, and he doesn’t try to set the record straight. His long-running question has been answered: There are other soldiers like him who have served the purposes of the Red—and he has accepted his place among them. As a soldier of the Red he pursues covert missions designed to nudge history away from existential threats—but that doesn’t mean the world is growing more orderly. It’s only in the froth of a “managed chaos” that human potential can grow and thrive. Shelley’s missions eventually take him into orbit—and into conflict with those he loves—Delphi and Jaynie—who are determined to escape the influence of the Red.

The conclusion of the Red Trilogy

The Girl with Ghost Eyes
by M. H. Boroson

It’s the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes–the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and the death of her husband bring shame to Li-lin and her father — and shame is not something this immigrant family can afford.

When a sorcerer cripples her father, terrible plans are set in motion, and only Li-lin can stop them. To aid her are her martial arts and a peachwood sword, her burning paper talismans, and a wisecracking spirit in the form of a human eyeball tucked away in her pocket. Navigating the dangerous alleys and backrooms of a male-dominated Chinatown, Li-lin must confront evil spirits, gangsters, and soulstealers before the sorcerer’s ritual summons an ancient evil that could burn Chinatown to the ground.

Heart Legacy
by Robin D. Owens

After the death of GrandLord Yew years ago, the Yews withdrew to their self-sustaining estate and disappeared from Celtan society. The current head of the household is believed to be eighteen-year-old Loridana. To find out, Draeg Blackthorn has been sent to the estate to spy, undercover as a stableman for the stridebeasts—beautiful creatures that hold a place in Lori’s heart no member of her family ever could.

Bullied by her family, Lori has decided to abandon her bloodline and live on her own with her true family—her animals. When Draeg discovers she’s rejecting her heritage, he’s appalled. He’s come to love the land as much as the woman, even spinning small fantasies of marrying Lori and becoming Lord and Lady of the manor. Draeg wants her to stay and fight her elders. For Lori, it’s an alternative that could render her absolutely powerless to pursue her own destiny, and drive her further away from her perfect dreams and the man she loves, Draeg.

Book fourteen of the Celta series.

Her Brother’s Keeper
by Mike Kupari

It’s been years since Catherine Blackwood left the stodgy, repressive colony world of Avalon. Now the captain of the privateer vessel Andromeda, she is the master of her own destiny. But Catherine soon finds herself back on Avalon after receiving a plea for help from a most unlikely source: her estranged father, esteemed Avalon Council member Augustus Blackwood.

It seems Catherine’s brother, the heir to the Blackwood aristocracy, has gone off in search of treasure on the failed, chaotic world of Zanzibar. But Cecil Blackwood’s plans have gone very, very wrong, and he has been taken hostage and held for ransom by a fearsome local warlord. Augustus, knowing his daughter is the only one who can be trusted to return his son safely, swallows his pride and hires Catherine to bring her brother home.

Catherine takes the job—but it won’t be easy. Just getting to Zanzibar proves treacherous. And once she arrives, things only get worse. If she is to save her brother, Catherine Blackwood must face down danger at every turn and uncover a mystery four million years in the making.

Inherit the Stars
by Tony Peak

Wanderlust runs in Kivita Vondir’s blood. She dreamed of salvaging like her father when she was young, and now it’s her addiction, getting her through pit stops filled with cheap alcohol and cheaper companionship and distracting her from her broken heart.

Her latest contract to hunt down a fabled gemstone is exactly the kind of adventure she craves. But this job is more than meets the eye. For one thing, her duplicitous employer has hired rebel Sar Redryll—Kivita’s former lover—to stop her at any cost. For another, Kivita’s recovery of the relic unleashes in her powerful new abilities. Abilities that everyone in the Cetturo Arm—human, alien, and in-between—desperately wishes to control…

As she avoids a massive galactic manhunt, Kivita teams up with two unlikely allies: Sar and his enigmatic new partner. Only, as the gem’s mysteries are revealed and danger draws near, Kivita begins to wonder if her ex has truly changed, or if he’s just waiting for the right moment to betray her once again…

Jeweled Fire
by Sharon Shinn 

As one of the four princesses of Welce, Corene always thought she might one day become queen. Only circumstances changed, leaving fiery Corene with nothing to show for a life spent playing the game of court intrigue—until a chance arises to become the ruler of a nearby country.

After stowing away on a ship bound for Malinqua with her loyal bodyguard, Foley, Corene must try to win the throne by making a play to marry one of the empress’s three nephews. But Corene is not the only foreign princess in search of a crown.

Unaccustomed to being anyone’s friend, Corene is surprised to find companionship among her fellow competitors. But behind Malinqua’s beautiful facade lie many secrets.

The visiting princesses are more hostages than guests. And as the deadly nature of the court is revealed, Corene must rely on both her new allies and Foley’s unwavering protection—for the game she has entered is far more perilous than she ever imagined…

King of Assassins
by Jenna Rhodes

Thrown into exile on Kerith by a sorcerous act of war, the Vaelinars have used their own unique talents to gain power over the races native to this world, and to create magical Ways that remold Kerith forever. But now their war has followed them, ripping holes in the fabrics of both universes. The Vaelinars stand at a dangerous threshold as old and new betrayals threaten the destinies of the peoples of two worlds.

Against this background of betrayal and ever-shifting alliances, two star-crossed lovers—the half-breed Sevryn and the orphaned, goddess-touched Vaelinar, Rivergrace—must escape the fury of a desperate ruler. The Warrior Queen Lariel, having accidentally revealed to Sevryn the forbidden .

The third in the Elven Ways series

Made to Kill
by Adam Christopher

Raymond Electromatic is good at his job, as good as he ever was at being a true Private Investigator, the lone employee of the Electromatic Detective Agency–except for Ada, office gal and super-computer, the constant voice in Ray’s inner ear. Ray might have taken up a new line of work, but money is money, after all, and he was programmed to make a profit. Besides, with his twenty-four-hour memory-tape limits, he sure can keep a secret.

When a familiar-looking woman arrives at the agency wanting to hire Ray to find a missing movie star, he’s inclined to tell her to take a hike. But she had the cold hard cash, a demand for total anonymity, and tendency to vanish on her own.

Plunged into a glittering world of fame, fortune, and secrecy, Ray uncovers a sinister plot that goes much deeper than the silver screen–and this robot is at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Mind Magic
by Eileen Wilks

FBI agent Lily Yu’s mind is a dangerous place to be in the latest Novel of the Lupi…

Thanks to the mindspeech lessons she’s receiving from the black dragon, Lily is temporarily benched from Unit Twelve—until her brain acclimates and the risk of total burnout passes. At least she has her new husband, lupi Rule Turner, to keep her occupied.

But when her mentor calls in a favor and sends Lily to a murder scene, she’s suddenly back on active status—despite the hallucinations she can’t keep at bay. With one touch, Lily knows the man was killed by magic, but her senses don’t warn her how far the conspiracy goes…

A shadowy force within the government wants to take Unit Twelve down, and they don’t mind killing to achieve their goal. With none of her usual resources, Lily is up against impossible odds–because with her mind in disarray, she can’t trust anything she sees.

Mission: Tomorrow
by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
In Mission: Tomorrow, science fiction writers imagine the future of space exploration with NASA no longer dominant. Will private companies rule the stars or will new governments take up the call? From Brazilians to Russians to Chinese, the characters in these stories deal with everything from strange encounters, to troubled satellites and space ships, to competition for funding and getting there first. Nineteen stories of what-if spanning the gamut from Mercury to Pluto and beyond, assembled by critically praised editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

Table of Contents:
“Tombaugh Station” by Robin Wayne Bailey
“Excalibur” by Jack McDevitt
“The Race For Arcadia” by Alex Shvartsman
“A Walkabout Amongst The Stars” by Lezli Robyn
“Sunrise On Mercury” by Robert Silverberg
“In Panic Town, On The Backward Moon” by Michael F. Flynn
“The Ultimate Space Race” by Jaleta Clegg
“Orpheus’ Engines” by Christopher McKitterick
“Around The NEO in 80 Days” by Jay Werkheiser
“Iron Pegasus” by Brenda Cooper
“Airtight” by Michael Capobianco
“Windshear” by Angus McIntyre
“On Edge” by Sarah A. Hoyt
“Tartaros” by Mike Resnick
“Malf” by David D. Levine
“Ten Days Up” by Curtis C. Chen
“The Rabbit Hole” by James Gunn
“Rare (Off Earth) Elements (A Sam Gunn Tale)” by Ben Bova
“Tribute” by Jack Skillingstead

Mystic
by Jason Denzel

For hundreds of years, high-born nobles have competed for the chance to learn of the Myst. Powerful, revered, and often reclusive, Mystics have the unique ability to summon and manipulate the Myst: the underlying energy that lives at the heart of the universe. Once in a very great while, they take an apprentice, always from the most privileged sects of society. Such has always been the tradition-until a new High Mystic takes her seat and chooses Pomella AnDone, a restless, low-born teenager, as a candidate.

Commoners have never been welcomed among the select few given the opportunity to rise beyond even the highest nobility. So when Pomella chooses to accept the summons and journey to Kelt Apar, she knows that she will have more to contend with than the competition for the apprenticeship.

Breaking both law and tradition, Pomella undergoes three trials against the other candidates to prove her worthiness. As the trials unfold, Pomella navigates a deadly world of intolerance and betrayal, unaware that ruthless conspirators intend to make her suffer for having the audacity to seek to unravel the secrets of the Myst.

Planetfall
by Emma Newman

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow
by James Morrow

Join the Abominable Snowman as, determined to transcend his cannibalistic past, he studies Tibetan Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. Pace the walls of Ilium with fair Helen as she tries to convince both sides to abandon their absurd Trojan War. Visit the nursery of Zenobia Garber, born to a Pennsylvania farm couple who accept her for the uncanny little biosphere she is. Scramble aboard the raft built by the passengers and crew of the sinking Titanic—and don’t be surprised when the vessel transmutes into a world even more astonishing than the original Ship of Dreams. Reality by Other Means offers readers the most celebrated results from James Morrow’s thirty-five-year career designing fictive thought experiments. Anchored by seven previously uncollected stories, this omnibus ranges from social satire to theological hijinks, steampunk escapades to philosophical antics.

Shadow of Empire
by Jay Allan

Smuggler and mercenary Arkarin Blackhawk and the crew of the ship Wolf’s Claw are freelance adventurers who live on the fringe of human society in the Far Stars. A veteran fighter as deadly with a blade as he is with a gun, Blackhawk is a man haunted by a dark past. Even his cynicism cannot banish the guilt and pain that threaten his sanity.

Sent to rescue the kidnapped daughter of his longtime friend Marshal Augustin Lucerne, Blackhawk and his crew find themselves drawn into one deadly fight after another. When the Wolf’s Claw is damaged, they are forced to land on a remote planet subsumed by civil war. Pulled unwittingly into the conflict, they uncover disturbing information about secret imperial involvement that could upset the plans of Lucerne.

For the Marshal is determined to forge a Far Stars Confederation powerful enough to eliminate all imperial influence and threats in the sector. He needs a skilled warrior like Blackhawk on his side, but the mercenary, plagued by dark memories from the past, refuses to join the cause. All too soon, though, he and his crew will have to take a stand.

The Shock of Night
by Patrick W. Carr

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded on the streets of Bunard, Willet Dura is called to investigate. Yet the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers. As Willet begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to the city, no closer to answers than before, but his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, a twist seen at the edge of his vision, and it’s as though he can see their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all: a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a much more dangerous and epic conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his own tortured past if he wants to survive.

Solar Express
by L. E. Modesitt

You can’t militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. However, increasing resource scarcity and a changing climate on Earth’s surface is causing some interested parties to militarize, namely India, the North American Union, and the Sinese Federation.

The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis. What appears to be a hitherto undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. Now there is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed the “Solar Express” before it perhaps destroys itself.

Leading the way for the North American Union is Alayna’s friend, Captain Christopher Tavoian, one of the first shuttle pilots to be trained for combat in space. But, as the alien craft gets closer to its destination, it begins to alter the surface of the sun in strange new ways, ways that could lead Alayna to revolutionary discoveries-provided Chris can prevent war from breaking out as he navigates among the escalating tensions between nations.

Stars of Fortune
by Nora Roberts

To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces.…

Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the fire star. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.

Sasha is the one who holds them together―the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.

But Sasha and Bran are just two of the six. And they must all work together as a team to find the fire star in a cradle of land beneath the sea. Over their every attempt at trust, unity, and love, a dark threat looms. And it seeks to corrupt everything that stands in its way of possessing the stars.

Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company
by Alexander Freed

Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.

Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.

Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.

Styx
by Bavo Dhooge

From the #1, award-winning Flemish crime writer, an atmospheric, genre-busting crime novel about a cop who comes back from the dead to track down the same serial killer who shot him.

A serial killer is on the loose in Ostend, Belgium. Nicknamed The Stuffer, the mysterious killer fills his victims full of sand and poses them as public art installations—and the once idyllic beach town is in a panic. The fact that Rafael Styx is on the case is no comfort. The corrupt, middle-aged cop has a bum hip, a bad marriage, and ties to the Belgian underworld, but no leads. And if he wants to catch the killer before he’s replaced by the young, ambitious, and flamboyant new cop, Detective Delacroix, he’ll have to take matters into his own hands.

When a chance encounter puts him face to face with The Stuffer, Rafael’s life is cut short by a gun to the chest. But the afterlife has only just begun: Styx wakes up a zombie. Gradually he realizes his unique position. Not only is his body in decay, now that he exists between life and death, he can enter a “different” Ostend, of the Belle Époque in all its grandeur. There he meets the surrealist painter, Paul Delvaux, who gives Styx his first clue about the killer.

With a fresh lead and a fresh start, the dirty cop decides to change his ways, catch The Stuffer, and restore his honor. But as his new hunger for human flesh impedes his progress, he’ll need his old rival, Detective Delacroix to help him out. Only one thing is for sure, even death can’t stop Styx from catching his own murderer.

Tower of Thorns
by Juliet Marillier

Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.

As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.

A Thousand Years of Persistence
by Yeyu

Lu Delong, half-human half-yao mercenary, has been training to become more powerful in his quest to be of worth to Cangji, the formidable immortal he desires. To prove he deserves a place in the expedition to Mount Kunlun, Delong risks his life in a dangerous mission against Black Moon Sect. However, as Delong grows stronger, he becomes more aware of the vast disparity between himself and Cangji―ten years is not nearly enough time for Delong to be of much use in the impending conflict that may shake the very foundations of the universe.

Yet the realization only fuels his yearning to understand the forgotten mysteries of his connection with Cangji. Delong knows he will never achieve his goal of saving the celestial dragon if he remains mortal. Luckily, thanks to his past he has a shortcut to attaining immortality.

Uri’Madu: Song of the Planet Walkers
by Jennifer Boyes

Exploring the furthest reaches of the Realm, cut off from civilization, Huldar and his team of Planet Walkers (the Uri’madu) must face the unknown and complete their mission. While still reeling from the death of a key team member, the archangel, Huldar of Leth must make a place for the ephemeral diviner, Andel of House Trianog. As they come to grips with the strangeness of this new world, they are undermined by the secret agenda of Imperial Overlord, Duvät Gok. The Planet Walkers find themselves in mortal peril and must come together to rescue one of their own, lost in the grips of Qalān. Uri’madu; Songs of the Planet Walkers is set on world of changing conditions and climatic extremes, a newly discovered planet on the outskirts of the Realm of the angels and archangels (the annangi).

Weighing Shadows
by Lisa Goldstein

Ann Decker fixes computers for a living, and in the evenings she passes the time sharpening her hacking skills. It’s not a very interesting life, but she gets by—until one day she’s contacted with a job offer for a company called Transformations Incorporated. None of her coworkers have ever heard of it before, and when Ann is finally told what the company does, she can hardly believe it: TI has invented technology to travel in time.

Soon Ann is visiting a matriarchy in ancient Crete, and then a woman mathematician at the Library of Alexandria. But Transformations Incorporated remains shrouded in mystery, and when Ann finally catches her breath, there are too many troubling questions still unanswered. Who are Transformations Incorporated, and what will they use this technology to gain? What ill effects might going back in time have on the present day? Is it really as harmless as TI says?

When a coworker turns up dead, Ann’s superiors warn her about a covert group called Core out to sabotage the company. Something just isn’t right, but before she has time to investigate, Ann is sent to a castle in the south of France, nearly a thousand years in the past. As the armies of the Crusade arrive to lay siege, and intrigue grows among the viscount’s family, Ann will discover the startling truth—not just about the company that sent her there, but also about her own past.

Word Puppets
by Mary Robinette Kowal

Celebrated as the author of five acclaimed historical fantasy novels in the Glamourist series, Mary Robinette Kowal is also well known as an award-winning author of short science fiction and fantasy. Her stories encompass a wide range of themes, a covey of indelible characters, and settings that span from Earth’s past to its near and far futures as well as even farther futures beyond. Alternative history, fairy tales, adventure, fables, science fiction (both hard and soft), fantasy (both epic and cozy)-nothing is beyond the reach of her unique talent. WORD PUPPETS-the first comprehensive collection of Kowal’s extraordinary fiction-includes her two Hugo-winning stories, a Hugo nominee, an original story set in the world of “The Lady Astronaut of Mars,” and fourteen other show-stopping tales.


Byron Dunn is an AISFP Contributor, a friend to werewolves, and severely sleep deprived. It’s his own fault.

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